[I'm learning to play the guitar by committing to 30 Days of Rocksmith. Here's how I got started.]
This turned into an unplanned cheat day. A “cheat day,” for those of you so skinny that you never have to diet, is a day in which you indulge in the foods and drinks that you normally avoid for dietary reasons. When the In-N-Out Burger opened in my town a couple weeks ago, my cheat day turned into a cheat week. It’s not recommended. But, in a Rocksmith context, for one day, today was my cheat day. I didn’t pick up the guitar. Didn’t even hover over the Rocksmith icon on my PlayStation.
Taking a day off can be a good thing. I know that it sounds like a copout to title something 30 Days of Rocksmith when, in fact, it’s now only 29 Days of Rocksmith. But I still feel like I’m well on my way toward forming excellent musicianship habits. And, I’ll admit, I didn’t want to hear Mr. Nice Guy’s voice on the tutorials. Not for a good 24 hours.
But my neural pathways are still firing messages from one musical art of my brain to another. Or something like that. Can you tell I’m not a neuropsychologist? I don’t even have the vocabulary to hold an intelligent conversation when it comes to how the brain works. So I’m just hopeful that it’s working, even when my fingers aren’t actively pressing down on the strings. Even when I’m not feeling the buzz from sliding my fingers up and down the scale.
My brain is still thinking about Rocksmith. It’s still subconsciously running up and down those slides (that I’m still trying to nail down when it comes to the upper and lower stopping points). In my head, I’m still pulling off those perfect hammer-ons that my extra-medium-length fingers struggle to reach.
Visualizing success is an important ingredient to this process. Or at least that’s what I’m telling myself. But when I had the guitar in my hands, I couldn’t take the time to visualize anything. Because I was doing, of course. But with the guitar sat in the corner for just one night, my imagination and my mind is allowed to play on just a bit.
And I was allowed to put my PlayStation time into Destiny. A game I've finally bought into, now that it's Year Two. Where, just today, I went to the moon, met some interesting creatures, and shot them repeatedly.
Tomorrow, I’ll be back on the wagon. The rock wagon. With the mental rest that comes with a cheat day, I should be ready to tear that thing from its resting place and rip into a murderous set of chords, picking, and sustains.